Milk Steaming


Espresso drinks are popular beverages -- and for good reason. They are warm, delicious, and easy to customize. Aside from the espresso itself, the most common ingredient in traditional espresso drinks is milk or cream. Milk is often frothed or steamed, changing its character in order to prepare drinks in the correct manner. Milk steaming warms the milk so it does not chill the drink when the hot espresso is added. It is also necessary for making latte designs. Milk frothing is done to prepare a delicious foam topping for drinks. Both techniques are essential for baristas to master in order to correctly prepare the most popular traditional espresso drinks.


Milk is steamed with the help of the steam wand on most espresso machines. These wands are topped with a rubberized cover that should be removed prior to use. The desired amount of milk is poured into the steamer carafe, a stainless steel pitcher. The steamer tip is placed into the milk and steam is slowly released from the machine. Control is important to prevent hot milk from spraying out of the pitcher or splashing uncontrollably. Drinks made with steamed milk include:

  • Latte
  • Café au lait
  • Mocha

Cappuccinos are also made with steamed milk, although frothed milk is also used in their preparation.


The steam wand on the espresso machine is also used to create milk froth. Froth adds a pleasant texture to drinks and improves their appearance. Begin by adding a portion of milk to the stainless steel pitcher. Next, turn on the steam wand and insert it into the milk. The tip of the steam wand should be kept fairly high in the milk so the milk begins to froth. Once the desired amount of milk froth has been created, it can be gently placed onto the espresso drink.

Find all you need for frothing or steaming milk at Espresso Parts. Get your supplies today!